Tag Archives: mtb

Out taking pictures and boring in Sydney.

Been down to Sydney a few times recently researching and photographing locations for the comic strip and stumbled across the ‘Creative Sydney’ poster below and that caught my eye because of the picture it made when combined with graffiti and sandstone wall. All three elements form a snap shot of the state of creativity in this nation with the sandstone wall referencing tradition and past nation building, the tagging (graffiti) arguing ‘creative Sydney’ is illegal street art even if the tags themselves are stylistically a decades long process of copying a long lost original and then the poster itself which is pegged down well within the boundaries of the acceptable. None of this would be a real problem were it not for the fact and as seemingly understood by who or whatever commissioned the poster, that ‘creativity’ has dollar value. Will this poster contribute in any significant way towards the goal of making Sydney a powerhouse of creativity with billions of dollars pouring into the State’s coffers ?

Creative Sydney poster tagged and behind sandstone wall.

Not sure the city authorities understand what creative people need.

Walking around the city center looking for something, anything, that could be of some use to my comic book project the more distance traveled the more I wanted to puke. As a city Sydney is sanitized and made appropriate and inoffensive to all including the children of millionaires with now a lovely playground sitting right next to the fountain in Kings Cross where previously the homeless, rent boys, prostitutes and drug dealers hung out. OK – nice, clean and the locals living in their multi million dollar flats can now park their Ferrari’s and designer bicycles in what were once-upon-a-time dark back alleys without fearing they being vomited on by drug-fucked and homeless ‘losers’. The poor, the homeless, the artists, the musicians, the poets and that essential demi-monde have been pushed out and I doubt a poster can fill the void.

 

Bike riding in the suburbs a few days later I actually found a location that could be useful. Horrible cliche though – you know – the urban decay and graffiti thing but has potential as a backdrop for some depravity or other gratuitously violent action. Below are a few pictures taken as part of my search for locations.

 

mountain bike leening against wire fence that surrounds abandoned commercial centre along parramatta road Sydney

The trusty MTB bike. For sure it will be immortalized in the comic strip.

black and white of abandoned petrol station on Parramatta road Sydney.

Had some fun in RawTherapee and Gimp with one of the pictures taken at the abandoned commercial center site.

Railway pedestrian tunnel at Lawson railway station Blue Mountains New South Wales Australia

In the Blue Mountains town of Lawson and not Sydney but could be useful.

On the topic of art and culture it appears much today is part of this now mainstream social engineering trend and nothing of the past appears to be beyond re-interpretation such as below Australian photographer Max Dupain’s famous ‘Sunbaker’ taken in 1937 and used here in an anti-racism poster. Right or wrong in intention I think this takes away from Dupain’s work which was about the sun baked, free, democratic and prosperous Australian lifestyle. Anyway, had a bit of Gimp fun with that one as well.

max dupain's 'Sunbaker' in anti-racism poster.

He is not dreaming – he is living it.

Blessings.

Stupid MTB Ride and Drop Bears at the railway station.

Set out yesterday to camp by the creek half way along the Andersons Fire Trail which is classified as ‘difficult’ by Parks and Wildlife and that for riders on proper bikes with a better than average level of fitness. I must be the only person to have ever attempted it pulling a trailer over-loaded with camera and camping gear and am happy to say that I made it to the end. Would not do it again.

Bike and trailer at the start of Andersons

Determined at the start of the Anderson trail.

The first half of the trail is fairly flat and pleasant before you get to the smoking-brakes downhill to the creek.

Anderson's trail with gum trees, bike and trailer.

First half is a nice, easy ride.

Bike, trailer and creek.

Camped overnight by the creek before the climb out in the morning.

Had a pretty good night camped out by the creek and then this morning it was the climb out. Literally kilometers of steep uphill.

Just when you make it up one these very steep uphills hoping it to be the last really steep- Yeah!! and there’s another and this goes on for kilometers.

Even the ant hills are big around here.

Made it up to Woodford where I stopped by Bruce’s cafe before heading for the station to catch a train back up to Katoomba. Had to wait over an hour and so had time to check out the more interesting posters on the station walls.

All about space / time for travelers on State Rail.

 

The Blue Mountains with its high cliffs is a popular suicide spot. My advise if you think life is not worth living is go do something really stupid like get into independent journalism, row a boat to New Zealand or do Andersons pulling forty kilos of shit on a trailer. Hey, you gonna die anyway so give it a go!

 

This one is about ‘Drop Bears’ the scientific name of which is Thylarctos Plummetus. The poster warns tourists they are at greater risk of attack than native-born Australians and that a way to ward off attack is to swear Vegemite (or toothpaste) behind your ears. Information courtesy of Australian Geographic and Transport New South Wales.

 

OK – innovative ways State Rail keep people amused whilst waiting for the oft late train.

Below are a few pics of Aboriginal rock carvings I took on my last ride down The Oaks trail (Woodford to Glenbrook). For those who ride the trail and haven’t seen them, they are at the top of the first big hill and on your right if heading in the Glenbrook direction. At the top of the hill you will see where Parks and Wildlife have placed rocks to stop  people driving onto the flat rocks and the carvings are near the trail edge and not back in the bushes where I’ve often unsuccessfully looked for them.

Aboriginal Rock carvings on The Oaks trail.

 

Near the rock carvings are these marks that to me look like groves made from sharpening stone tools and weapons.

Blessings.

A few pics, little boy found and mtb rides.

Really nothing much worth mentioning in my miserable existence but around the world there’s plenty worth mentioning but for sure everyone is sick and tired of hearing bad news. Especially when its human caused and so entirely avoidable. Syria, more killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli Defense Force, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and all the other disasters happening around the world. Oh yes – and the latest on climate change? It was April Fools day yesterday and so caution needs to be exercised but reportedly there is a plan to spray a sun-filtering film over threatened areas of the Great Barrier Reef to reduce coral beaching. If a joke it is a bad one. Good news is that a three-year-old boy who disappeared from a camp site near the rural town of Mudgee (West side of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales) was found yesterday safe and sound despite 18 hours alone, lost and terrified in the woods. The heart-melt part of the story is that the little boy said to police he asked a Kangaroo to take him home. In the end it was a police helicopter ride rather than a ride in a roo’s pouch which for sure he enjoyed just as much.

Had another attack on the art website which I will rebuild one day, too busy with that project I won’t mention for the moment, and the primitive nature of these attacks – brute force attacks – would indicate they are the work of criminals who attack all and any site  in the hope that people are stupid enough to have ‘admin’ as user name and ‘password’ or ‘qwerty’ or ‘123456’ as password. Yes folks, there are people so stupid they would indeed make things that easy for hackers. BTW I did manage to log with the cyber crime people the previous attack and the security people I use have advised there has been a spate of hack attempts on WordPress sites.

Otherwise, been out on the mountain bike and did the usual 20 kilometers of highway followed by 30 of dirt trail on Friday. Saturday i did another 40 or so kilometer combination of road and track. I’m trying to build up endurance which is the main issue for older and very young riders especially when the weather is abnormally hot for the time of year – 35 degrees Celsius at the bottom of Friday’s ride down to Glenbrook. On the way I found an English family stopped mid uphill on the Oaks trail and who were obviously not well prepared. Dad was pushing the kid’s bikes to the top, Mum was sheltering with two boys in the shade of trees and the daughter I found crouching under a rock shelf a bit further up.  Chatting with the mother and making sure they were OK and didn’t also need the services of a rescue helicopter, she told me it was their first visit to Australia and that they had no idea of the difficulty and length of the trail. Her face dropped when I told her they had roughly another 15 kilometers to go and a few more big hills but on the balance of down and up hill and at the point they were, they were better off continuing down than trying to go back up. Later and taking a break with feet in the cool water of Glenbrook creek a few other riders who arrived at the end of the trail said the Poms were all alive and progressing slowly. Moral of the story is do your research before taking small children on a happy bike ride in the woods even if it’s just on the outskirts of Sydney.

Below are a few pics I took the next day at Hanging Rock.

Hanging Rock and Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.

Hanging Rock and its a long way down to the bottom of the valley but some young persons find it a perfect place to ‘death swing’. Look up ‘ blue mountains hanging rock death swing’ on youtube. There have been a few fatalities..

Hanging Rock with the Grose Valley in the background, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.

The haze in the background is oil from the gum tree leaves which often perceived as blue in color is why the area is called the “Blue Mountains’.

Cliff edge looking over the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.

End of the Hanging Rock trail is a cliff edge view of the Grose Valley.

Blessings to all.